Wow! This area, I want to return once I have learned more about the people who lived along Salt Creek and can better appreciate the history and cultural significance of this place. It’s beautiful in it’s own right, but there is so much more to it.
Gabriel and I had ambitious goals for the day. So we got an early start to the chilly morning. Thin plates of ice along the edge of Salt Creek. We started wading through the water just as the sun was shining on us. Such timing!
After joining with the main trail system we no longer need to hike through the creek or the sandy wash. We were on lovely, maintained park service trail.
Gabriel has a knack for yogi-ing when we have needs. Mid-morning we encountered a family hiking out, Gabriel got the dad to yardsale his pack and give us three precious AAA batteries for my headlamp that managed to die (twice, both sets of batteries drained) just as we left access to such amenities for 8 days. Thank you kind family! We wish you delicious tacos!
Batteries in hand, we continued walking up canyon in awe of the unnamed and marvelous sandstone formations. Surprised by every bend where we saw cliff dwellings and granaries. Salt Creek is beautiful! It amazed us that so many features don’t seem to have names, whereas in Washington, such bumps and ridges would be named on a USGS map. We wonder what the difference is here in Utah. So many interesting bumps and peaks, too much to track?
Even though we wanted to make miles, we couldn’t resist stopping, looking, and taking a three mile side trip to Angel Arch. This side canyon would be a beautiful place to camp and explore more.
Before we knew it, we were in Upper Salt Creek on the trail to the pictograph known as All American Man. It left me with so many questions. One being what would it be like to live in a fold of sandstone.
As much as we wanted to make it to the south end of the park, the evening chilled down quickly (low of 28 degrees F forecast), we knew we needed to make camp. We found an out of the way canyon and tucked ourselves in along the rocks.
Day 7: 22 miles, 114.3 miles total. Needles Outpost to …
GPS: not used; people sighted: 17 backpackers; roads: only the first mile, then trail!